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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Czecho-Slovakia.* It was evident by this that the Kremlin was taking
over the States within its sphere of influence as their c protector and
guarantor.5
The Czechs (a small nation numbering over seven million) had pro-
Russian sympathies on the whole and were considered as the outpost of
Russian imperialism in Europe and as reactionaries supporting Tsarist
absolutism.
During the First Great War, they had divided their loyalty. Soldiers
in the Austrian Army deserted en masse to the Russians., while at home
they conducted the same policy as during this Second Great War by
professing loyalty to the occupant.* As the favoured child of the Versailles
Treaty, they were presented with Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia,
although these countries had neither previously belonged to, nor were
united with Bohemia. Despite the extension towards the East, there
was still no possibility of the Czechs achieving a common frontier with
Russia.
In this Second Great War, Dr. Benes, the Czechs' representative in the
Allied camp, began his political campaign by acting in accordance with
the British programme for the reconstruction of Europe, but when Moscow
became one of the Allies, he changed the course of his policy to flow along
Soviet lines. The Czechs3 federation with Poland., which had been
patronised by Britain, was thrown into the waste paper basket. Dr. Benes
announced his intention of shortly concluding a post-war pact with the
Soviet Union, which meant that he was leaving the camp of the Western
world and hitching his wagon to the Russian star. It was a policy which
complicated the future situation for Central Europe, and Britain of 1942-
1943 showed herself to be far from satisfied with the premature political
solution to this point on the part of Russia. London was left with two
alternatives ; either to allow Dr. Benes to go to Moscow and set up resi-
dence there, and so lose this pawn on its chessboard, or to hold a resentful
Czech ' Provisional Government * in London until the war should further
* de Courcy^ Kenneth, Review of World Affairs, April 28th, 1944:
There is, in fact, almost no resistance movement at all in Ruthenia, Slovakia,
Moravia and Bohemia.
The Ruthenians are . . . anti-Russian.
The masses in Slovakia are anti-Czech and anti-Russian. The attitude of the
Czech population is curious. Quite a number are now actually serving in the
German forces, viz0 in the 5th and 8th Jaeger Divisions, the 18th Motorised Divi-
sion, and the 81st, 122nd, 225th and 290th Infantry Division.
Czech industry is most effectively supporting the German war effort and many
workers seem very much to dislike the idea of risking the consequences of resistance.
The Czech clergy is largely supporting President Hacha, partly because of its
anti-Russian views and partly because it fears anti-clericalism from the radicals
abroad. All these facts are everywhere well-known on the Continent* and it
causes astonishment to many friends of the Allies that they should be so little
known in Britain and America.
War-Time Rationing and Consumption* published by the Secretariat of the
League of Nations, Geneva^ 19423 states that the inhabitants of Bohemia had the
same ration as Germany (pp. 22-23).
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